ARTIST: Br. Mickey McGrath, OSFS
Father in heaven, by whose grace the virgin mother of thine Incarnate Son was blessed in bearing him, but still more blessed in keeping thy word: Grant us who honor the exaltation of her lowliness to follow the example of her devotion to thy will; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Feast day is May 31.
The feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary celebrates the visit of the Mother of God, with the child Jesus in her womb, to her cousin Elizabeth, who was herself six months' pregnant with the forerunner of Christ, Saint John the Baptist. At the Annunciation, the angel Gabriel, in response to Mary's question "How shall this be done, because I know not man?" (Luke 1:34), had told her that "thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren: Because no word shall be impossible with God" (Luke 1:36-27).
The evidence of Elizabeth's own near-miraculous conception had called forth Mary's fiat: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word." It is thus appropriate that the very next action that Saint Luke the Evangelist records is the Blessed Virgin "making haste" to visit her cousin.